Sydney with the girls (a Mommy and daughter trip)

It feels like not too long ago, I was tumbling down the slopes of Tomamu in Hokkaido and a couple of weeks later, we packed our bags to head down under for a Mom-and-Girl Brat trip. Yes, sans husband/ father for 5 days and 4 nights.

Pretty manageable now that the girls are older but also pretty crazy because even though the meltdowns are lesser, there were moments where they individually drove us moms bat-shit crazy. I guess the expectations of them as little girls are higher compared to when they were toddlers where we could just brush it off and say that they are still young, they don’t know. But they do know.

Our itinerary this trip was pretty much rest and relaxed. Well, largely because Libby and I were so busy with MAPL days leading up to the trip that we didn’t really have much time to do much planning. I guess the whole point of a holiday is that we just figure out along the way and just have fun. Which we did.

Here’s a quick summary of what we did, what we ate and basically, how we survived with two little kids in tow.

How we traveled around Sydney:

We took the red eye from Singapore to Sydney and about 1 hour into the flight, both girls slept for a good 5-6 hours which allowed me to catch up on all the movies that I really wanted to watch but didn’t get a chance to. Win! After we landed into Sydney, we booked our airport transfer from babytaxis.com.au simply because we heard/ know that it’s pretty strict in Australia and kids needed to be strapped in with their own child-seat. Initially we wanted to bring our own Trunk booster seat but realised that we couldn’t as the seat did not comply with the standards of car safety stipulated by the Australian Government.

How we got around Sydney? We relied heavily on public transport such as the train and taxis. We used Uber alot and indicated clearly to the assigned drivers that we had two kids at the age of 4. Some days we were lucky and the drivers actually accepted our booking and insisted that we belt them up. On some occasions, we would get rejected. We later found out that if you are traveling with young kids and do not have a car-seat, you could simply book a cab or flag down a taxi. All you needed to do is to belt the kids up with the safety seats. So that became our favoured mode of transport for nearby locations.

Otherwise, most of the time, we really explored the nearby attractions by foot and pushed the girls around in their compact city strollers by Mimosa. We were invited to test this newly launched product by Mothercare and it was a life-saver. The girls are at a age where they are slightly too heavy to be carried all the time. If we drag them on their feet to walk, I’m sure we will be stopping every 1 minute or so only to hear their complaining and whining that they are simply too tired. The city compact stroller was lightweight and easy to maneuver around the crowded streets of Sydney. The girls loved being in the stroller and when it was time for a nap, they happily snoozed in it while us moms continued shopping. Not bad at all. Highly recommend a compact stroller if you are planning your next city getaway with a kid.

Where we stayed:

Libby suggested that we get a 2-bedroom service apartment located near shops/ restaurants around Darling Habour. It was a lovely and comfortable stay that provided all the comfort of what a home would give for a short-stay. The girls had a great time play-pretend camping and swimming in the make-shift pool which was actually their bath-tub. The apartment was close to Darling Harbour where we brought the girls too on Good Friday when almost everything was shut. It was also close to Surry Hills where the girls enjoyed a scoop of that creamy artisanal Gelato Messina before burning their energy at a nearby playground.

What I particularly liked about the area was that shopping was also a stone’s throw away from where we were. A walk down the street and Queen Victoria Building plus the swanky Westfield shopping mall were just within our reach. For ease of convenience, Coles supermarket was just downstairs our apartment. That really helped when we needed to stock up fast on groceries plus wine or even grab a bite or two.

Where we went:

On entertaining the kids, again, we had grand plans to bring them to the zoo, to Bondi beach, to check out the Sydney Opera House (which we did for all of 10 minutes), but I guess nothing really mattered to them except being around each other to play with. I did manage to score a reservation at the highly popular Grounds at Alexandria Cafe. But, guess what? We overslept the next morning – girls slept at 1am and the moms slept at 3.30am. So our best laid plans went awry. We settled for a leisure breakfast around the hood and then chilled out.

Ahead of our trip, we did purchase tickets online to the Sydney Royal Easter Show which was this grand carnival affair where the highlight of the show was the Easter Showbags filled with merchandise that you probably may or may not want at a value that you will certainly get for more.

There were like nearly 100 different types of showbags to cater practically every age group. Our eyes widened when we entered the grounds but we tried our best to control given that we have limited luggage space plus we didn’t want to bring home more things than what the girls actually needed.  So we let the girls choose one showbag each. I would have loved for mine to pick either the Disney Princess or My Little Pony themed showbag, but she went straight for the LOL Surprise Doll showbag. Well, since we don’t get much LOL Surprise Doll merchandise in Singapore plus each doll actually cost so much, I decided to let her get it. One of the other reasons is that the merchandise that were in this particular showbag actually looked quite pleasing to the eye.

We also brought the girls on some rides and then each of them had a scoop of ice-cream as a treat while we Mamas rested on the bench with cold coffees/ beverages. For Autumn, the weather in Sydney felt surprisingly hot.

But we are thankful for the warm weather and the blue skies that allowed us to fully enjoy the Sydney Royal Easter Show. We spent about 4 hours exploring the area which was really huge. We heard that there are several activities that are lined up for kids and adults that will go all the way to the night but well, we didn’t have enough energy to last till then.

Where we ate:

There are no lack of restaurants and cafes in Sydney. Prior to the Bub’s arrival, I would have taken the time to go hunt down the coolest cafes and restaurants to dine in. But I find it somewhat harder to do that with a kid because truth be told, their schedules (as erratic as it sounds) do take precedent. Luckily for us, we had Libby who already knew a couple of hip/ cool places that we could go to so I felt comforted of being part of the dining scene in Sydney.

While the girls took their naps, Libby and I had a good work-out from our hotel to Surry Hills and hunted down Bourke Street Bakery. The sausage roll (fresh out off the oven) were divine and what I really enjoyed more was this ginger creme brulee tart. The caramelised sugar crust had a nice crunch and there was just about the right amount of ginger flavouring to the creme brulee as the dessert entered my mouth. By the way, we didn’t just stop at one tart. We decided to bag one back to the apartment as well.

On Good Friday when most of Sydney was shut, we managed to find Devon Cafe open and we headed there with the troop. There was a short 15 minutes wait where we got the girls to run around before we were promptly seated. Devon Cafe serves up hearty Asian fusion meals and we really enjoyed the miso grilled salmon while the girls couldn’t pass up the fries during the meal.

And I guess no trip is complete if we didn’t make our way down to the Adriano Zumbo kiosk for macarons for the little ones. They really enjoyed it and so did we. The salted caramel ones were my fave.

There you have it, a quick round-up of our 5D4N trip to Sydney. Lovely memories to last us till our next holiday! 🙂

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